Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday

Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven giving his final speech as leader of the Social Democrats. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT
Find out what's going on in Sweden today with The Local's short roundup of the news in less than five minutes.

Magdalena Andersson becomes new Social Democrat leader

At 4pm today, the Social Democrats elected Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson as their next party leader, replacing Stefan Löfven. But that doesn’t mean she will automatically become Prime Minister – she first has to be confirmed by parliament.

When will that happen? There is no clear timeline yet. In the meantime, here’s The Local’s handy guide to who Andersson is and what she wants, with facts and trivia about the politician who could become Sweden’s first female Prime Minister.

Swedish vocabulary: a politician – en politiker

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Respiratory virus on the increase among babies in Sweden

Between the week starting October 11th and the following week, the number of cases of the RS virus increased by 12 percent (1,006 cases), reports Swedish news agency TT.

The virus (Respiratory syncytial virus) usually causes cold-like symptoms in adults and children, but infants under the age of one can risk developing bronchiolitis, a blockage of small airways in the lungs which can require hospitalisation. The season usually peaks around February-March, but has started much earlier than normal this year.

The trend, which has also been observed in neighbouring Norway and Denmark, has been linked to lower immunity in the population because social distancing measures taken against Covid-19 in 2020 also reduced the spread of other seasonal infections.

Swedish vocabulary: cold-like symptoms – förkylningssymptom

Should Sweden give 16-year-olds the right to vote?

The Green Party has called for the lowering of the voting age to 16. “Young people of today are one of the most politically active generations ever, who can and wants to take responsibility,” writes Culture and Democracy Minister Amanda Lind in the DN daily.

Sweden last lowered its voting age from 19 to 18 in 1975. Sixteen-year-olds are allowed to vote in the Church Elections, but not in other national, regional or local elections.

For now, any further changes are unlikely to happen any time soon, especially not before Sweden’s general election in September 2022. The Green Party is part of the ruling government coalition, but is one of the smaller parties in parliament.

Swedish vocabulary: the voting age – rösträttsåldern

Sweden updates entry ban

Sweden will on November 8th update its entry ban to exempt residents of Argentina, Colombia, Namibia and Peru, which means people can now travel from these countries directly to Sweden without needing to also be covered by another exemption.

They will, however, have to present a negative Covid-19 test unless they also hold a vaccine certificate from an approved country (which currently does not include either of those four countries) or are exempt from that, too (for example if they’re Swedish residents). Does that sound confusing? Read The Local’s travel guide to the difference between exempt and approved countries.

Swedish vocabulary: an exemption – ett undantag

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